The one hour that makes the other 23 work better

I spent 10 minutes earlier this week reviewing the podcasts available from the app store and downloading a bunch on my iPhone. I exhausted my supply of my current favourite (RadioLab – check it out, it rocks … and get on TED Radio Hour while your there) about six weeks ago. So for the last six weeks I’ve been driving around listening to whatever is on the radio.

And while listening to the radio I’ve kept thinking to myself that it is insane that with the amount of great, free content that’s available, I’ve been listening to whatever happens to be on Melbourne radio. Yet it took me six weeks to find ten minutes when I wasn’t actually driving to find my next 90 days of content to listen to.

There are small things we can do that make the other things we do more effective. The most obvious example is exercise – I’ve heard it talked about as the one hour that makes the other 23 work better. That is to say if you spend one hour exercising, everything else will be more effective. Spending 10 minutes makes all my driving time more effective. It’s what Stephen Covey was referring to when he wrote about the importance of sharpening the saw (in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he tells the story of the woodsman who is too busy cutting down trees to take the time to sharpen his saw).

Right now I’m in the middle (well actually, achingly close to the end) of writing a book about how to more effectively implement worthwhile projects. so I’m thinking about this stuff every day. And yet it still took me six weeks to get around to spending the 10 minutes. I think we could all spend a bit more time stepping back and looking at what we can do to make the things we already do more effective.

For the next 30 days I’m going to consciously ask myself that once a day.

Love to hear your thoughts and experiences – what do you do to be more effective? You can leave your comments below.